ROTTERDAM.- Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
brings together works from all over the world by three artists who were decisive for the development of modern art. This is the first exhibition to combine sculptures by Brancusi, Rosso and Man Ray together with their photographs, affording a unique insight into the artists working methods.
Masterpieces that have rarely or never been seen in the Netherlands have been lent by important museums such as the Centre Pompidou, MoMA and Tate Modern. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is showing more than 40 sculptures and hundred photographs by Constantin Brancusi (Hobita 1876 - Paris 1957), Medardo Rosso (Turin 1858 - Milan 1928) and Man Ray (Philadelphia 1890 - Paris 1976). The exhibition features sculptures such as Brancusis Princesse X (1915-1916) and Rossos Ecce Puer (1906) alongside works by Man Ray from the museums collection, including the sculpture LÉnigme dIsidore Ducasse (1920/1971). Presenting the sculptures together with the artists photographs of their sculptures reveals their often-surprising perspectives on their own works.
Brancusi, Rosso and Man Ray employed photography not so much as a means of recording their work. The photographs show how they interpreted their sculptures and how they wanted them to be seen by others. Brancusi is considered the father of modern sculpture with his highly simplified sculptures of people and animals. In his photographs he experimented with light and reflection so that his sculptures absorb their environment and appear to come to life. Rosso is the artist who introduced impressionism in sculpture. The indistinct contours of his apparently quickly modelled figures in plaster and wax make them appear to fuse with their surroundings. Rosso cut up the softfocus photographs of his work, made them into collages and reworked them with ink so that the sculptures appear even flatter and more contourless. Man Ray is best known as a photographer but was also a painter and sculptor. His choice of materials was unconventional: he combined existing objects to create new works, comparable to the readymades of his friend Marcel Duchamp. Man Rays experimental use of photography led him to make photographs without the use of a camera. He made these so-called rayographs by placing objects directly on photographic paper and exposing them briefly to light, leaving behind a ghostly impression.
Through the eyes of the artist
The photographs of Brancusi, Rosso and Man Ray give the public the opportunity to see the sculptures through the artists own eyes. Three interactive spaces in the exhibition offer the public an opportunity to experiment with photography and representation.